Great Canadian Entertainment announced Monday that Anthony 'Tony' Rodio, Chief Executive Officer, is retiring as CEO and director. The Board of Directors has now appointed Matthew Anfinson, previously the Chief Operating Officer, to succeed him as CEO.
The Ontario-based gaming and hospitality operator has also appointed Jordan Banks as its first Executive Chairperson. Banks' appointment is effective upon receipt of customary regulatory approvals.
Alex van Hoek, Chairperson of the Board, said: "On behalf of the Board of Directors, the management team, and Great Canadian's team members, we want to thank Tony for his outstanding leadership. Tony has guided the company through a transformative period of recovery and growth while navigating the industry-wide challenges of COVID-19."
"We are also pleased to name Matthew as CEO, whom we are excited to have lead Great Canadian in its next chapter. Matthew is a North American leader in our industry with a deep understanding of the business. He has been responsible for driving top-line growth across all 25 of our properties and has held leadership roles in operations, marketing and analytics," he added.
Anthony 'Tony' Rodio, former CEO
Prior to joining Great Canadian, Anfinson was Senior Vice President of Operations at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, where he was responsible for creating "impactful" revenue growth strategies for all 56 Caesars properties globally. Previously, Anfinson held key leadership roles for Harrah's in their midwestern US markets.
Of his appointment, Anfinson commented: "It is an enormous privilege to lead Great Canadian Entertainment, especially at this defining juncture of the company as we set a new industry standard for gaming and entertainment in Canada."
Anfinson said he and the company are "incredibly excited" to bring to market what they believe will be among the premier casino resorts in North America in 2023 with the projects currently underway at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Woodbine, as well as "new innovative programs and initiatives" that will drive growth at other properties.
"We remain focused on continuously enhancing the overall experience for our guests, delivering long-term growth and value creation for our stakeholders, and doing so in a socially responsible way," he added.
Jordan Banks, who has been appointed as the first Executive Chairperson of Great Canadian Entertainment, is a technology, sports, and media executive. He has most recently worked as the President of Rogers Sports & Media, and as the VP and Country Director of Facebook and Instagram in Canada. He was also the CEO of JumpTV.
"Banks' experience will be a strong addition to the company's Board of Directors, particularly with its recent launch of the Great Canadian Rewards program and in-person sports betting across 10 of Great Canadian's Ontario destinations," the company noted.
On Banks' appointment, van Hoek said: "I am looking forward to working closely with Jordan to ensure that Great Canadian continues to up the ante for gaming and entertainment in Canada, creating a positive impact for all our stakeholders – including the company's guests, our team, and local communities across the country. Jordan's track record of leadership, coupled with his vast experience in sports, technology, and media, make him the ideal person to take on this new, valued position."
For his part, Banks added: "I am excited to join the Great Canadian team at such an exciting time for the company, and as the expectations of our guests and stakeholders continue to evolve across the gaming and entertainment landscapes. I look forward to being part of the team that will meet and exceed those expectations in new and innovative ways."